Growth & Jobs |
Anthony Drysdale, the 2018 winner of the JN Small Business Loans (JNSBL) Barber and Beauty Battle, is confident that the first cohort of 10 barbers who are preparing to graduate from his school in Scarborough, Tobago, will result in a new level of professionalism in the sector locally.
The barber, who has been cutting hair for more than 10 years, opened Kings and Queens Barbering Classes, a school specialising in grooming, last November, which offers a three-month training programme for persons interested in learning the skill. He has registered the institution and wants it to be accredited soon.
“I will impart what I learned over the past decade and give youngsters a real chance to acquire a skill from which they can earn,” Drysdale related. “I also have plans for a similar school in Jamaica, where I will encourage at-risk youth to learn this skill to lead them into entrepreneurship.”
“I want students to develop a level of professionalism so that more people will take the industry seriously. The students should also see it as one in which they can have a long and profitable career,” he explained.
Drysdale revealed that the first batch of students will graduate from the Trinidadian school at the end of January, and registration is now open for the February cohort.
Last year, Drysdale won the JNSBL Barber and Beauty Battle at the National Arena. He also used a portion of his prize money to open a salon in Tobago to complement the school.
“The funds came at a time when I was planning to launch out on my own,” he said. “Now, I have opened a salon with two stations, and I hope to invite former students to work there as well.”
Drysdale states that he was grateful to JNSBL for providing him with the opportunity to showcase his talent and become an entrepreneur.
“No other company has focused on this industry like JNSBL. Based on the exposure I gained from the Barber and Beauty Battle competition and the support I received to become an entrepreneur, I am grateful to the company,” he stated.
Gillian Hyde, general manager, JNSBL, said that Drysdale’s passion for his profession and the strides he has made are a positive reflection on the developmental value of the JNSBL Barber and Beauty Battle competition.
“Since inception, this competition has created numerous opportunities for many persons in the beauty sector who wanted to become entrepreneurs or grow their operations,” she stated. “We remain committed to the development of the industry because we believe it is one that can contribute to growing the economy. I am also pleased that Drysdale is imparting his knowledge to other persons, locally and in the region, and I wish him continued success.”
The father of two moved to Trinidad and Tobago six years ago, based on the recommendation of one of his clients. During the period, his clientele has grown; and he was also encouraged to enter several barber competitions in that country.
“I have entered competitions here in Trinidad and won. I also went to the United States of America and won there,” he related.
Although he is teaching and running his own operations, Drysdale still intends to compete. He is already planning to enter a competition in Tampa, Florida, in the USA later this year. He also uses social media to network with barbers in the Caribbean and North America, to learn new techniques and garner ideas so as to benefit his teaching and salon.
I enjoy competing, and travelling is my favourite hobby, therefore, I won’t slow down in that area anytime soon,” he said. “Meeting international barbers on social media have been good for me and what I want to achieve.”